At Sip Shop Eat we love to spotlight innovative, up-and-coming brands. For this year's Asian American and Pacific Islander month, we hand picked top-notch small business we know you'll love. Here are 10 fantastic AAPI businesses ready to conquer the world!
Agnes Jang creates delicate but impactful jewelry with her business Ippo Designs. Her etsy store reviews glow with phrases like “quality is great” and “I always get compliments.” Agnes believes that earrings can change up a whole look, and she wants everyone to experience that feeling, which is why she strives to keep prices affordable. Plus, she donates 10% of her proceeds to a different nonprofit organization each month. Get tickets to Sip Shop Eat IRL Pop-UP in Brooklyn to shop Ippo in person this weekend, May 14-15th.
Subway Social Club
Claire Feuer is passionate about connection and conversation. Her movement, Subway Social Club proposes a simple yet huge action…start a conversation with a stranger on the subway and see what happens. The results are heartwarmingly glorious. The Subway Social Club also meets for other community building events, like an on-the-subway group drawing session and a ride to the Consulate General of Ukraine in New York where they talked to strangers about the concept of “home.” Photo credit Daniela Spector.
Pipcorn’s origin story is as wholesome as their products. Brother and sister team Jeff and Jen Martin popped some corn Jen had picked up at a health food store and it was love at first taste. They tracked down the farmer and, as these things happen, one thing led to another and Pipcorn Heirloom Snacks was born. Pipcorn believes that heirloom seeds are “the way to a more sustainable and delicious future.”
Belinda Roselli’s concerned curiosity about what women do for their periods after natural disasters sparked six months of research in Vanuatu, and the conclusion that many women in rural areas are excluded from daily activities. With that, the plan for Mamma’s Laef was put in motion, where local women developed their entrepreneurial skills while sewing much needed menstrual products.
Shawna Tang cheekily claims her hobby is “hobbies.” CookieSmut started with Tang designing non-traditional cookie cutters (her dumpster fire cookie cutter is my personal favorite). Its current iteration features bold rugs and imaginative die cut jewelry. No matter the medium, CookieSmut shoots to be “kitschy, witchy, rude, cartoony, and colorful.”
Eunhee Wang’s explanation of Seoulful NY is as simply elegant as the designs they carry: “I want to spread very good Korean goods to the world. It’s very special.” Merchandise ranges from beauty to fashion to lifestyle. They even recently collaborated with Sceniquelab on gorgeous, glass-encased preserved flowers. Their instagram page is full of OOTD highlights and gushing, lovely reviews.
Pauline Fonua has brought her vision to life. She says Vision Board is “speaking Pacific existence out loud in t-shirt form.” The online store sells stickers, hoodies, and tshirts. A recent tshirt of the month was on homage to Haunani-Kay Trask who “inspired many people from the Pacific Islands to become more political and engage in fighting for land rights for indigenous people across the world.”
Purple Dreams Productions
Marci DeFrancesco is the kind of artist whose creativity sprawls over multiple mediums. She’s a much laudited actor, with credits too long to list. Her creative, innovative make-up designs are genre breaking. And now, her newest venture Purple Dream Productions puts her deeper behind the camera in a production company. Purple Dream Productions just finished a pilot script, with another in the works. It’s in the early stages of a new podcast, as well as other film projects.
The Sustainable Change
Amber Kang started The Sustainable Change to provide an accessible and affordable way to accomplish a Zero Waste lifestyle. They sell reusable products such as cotton pads, beeswax paper, and natural loofahs at consumer friendly price-points. In addition to that, they strive to educate their community on how easy it is to incorporate Zero Waste practices, whether that’s with greener holiday celebrations, vegan recipes, fun DIY projects, and more.
As a Tokyo born designer, Maiko Oba felt jewelry making led her to her true self. Her work showcases her passion, technique, and meticulousness. The idea behind Malpha jewelry is that the wearer is already perfect, the pieces are simply added beauty. Maiko believes that “jewelry is not just a product, it's purpose is to encourage its wearer, an encouragement for everyone to feel and be true to themselves, owing their confidence; with the power of positivity.”